Hi my name is Michelle Fourie. I am 45 years old and it is my 1 year stoma anniversary (December 2021).
I have a colostomy bag. It all started about a year-and-a-half ago. I thought my appendix had burst. The pain was unexplainable. Paramedics arrived and did not want to send me to the hospital because of covid. Well for the next 6 months I was misdiagnosed by 5 doctors and specialists. From e-coli. Cyst on my ovaries. Gallstones. Then they found a 13 cm tumour and The Big C word cancer was feared.
As I am not on medical aid a go fund me was started and so many people helped me. Then a very special family member helped me with a CT scan. As I came out I saw a nurse running towards me with my results saying go to the hospital immediately. Your diverticulitis has burst!
Well I didn’t even know what that was. Panic scared confused. My husband rushed me to the hospital. It took 4 surgeons 8 hours to operate. They later told me that two more days and I would have been dead. They removed part of my intestine, part of my bowel and one side of my fallopian tubes and ovary. All was one infected mass of tumour.
By the grace of God it was not cancer. While being wheeled into the operating theatre it was mentioned that I might wake up with a colostomy bag. But never in a million years did I expect this. When I woke up I was told that they had lost me a few times on the table. And the first thing I asked do I have a bag. The answer – YES. My world crumbled. I could not process this. The next three weeks I was extremely sick and hospitalized with septicemia and not allowed visitors. Much of December 2020 and January 2021 was a blur.
During my state of depression someone said to my husband and I a colostomy bag is better than a body bag. That day I change my outlook. This bag has saved my life. I don’t like it. But I have accepted it. My husband and son have not lost their wife and mother. God gave me a second chance of life.my world
When I got home with an open wound in my stomach. I was not shown up due to sepsis. An amazing wound nurse came to my rescue she put me on a negative vacuum machine for 3 months.
I didn’t even know how to put a bag on. How to use all the powders pastes adhesives skin barriers etc. But after 3 months I decided I have to take my life back. This bag was not going to control me.
Yes, some days are difficult. I must stay positive. Joining SASS the first week that I got home helped me so very much. They are my stoma family. They love and give advice they are amazing. I can now do nearly everything I did before. I go swimming in the pool or in the sea. I can travel with all my products.
So to any new ostomates out there. It is very scary at first but I promise you it gets better. It is what we call our new normal. God bless you all